By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
Buried beneath a second consecutive dominating second half is the fact that the Knicks also trailed at halftime for the second straight game. This is the playoffs and the other team gets paid too, as they say, but Mike Woodson is aware of some of the factors responsible for this. And if they can't correct them, we might see some changes to the Knicks' rotation.
Woodson acknowledged during a media conference call on Wednesday that they need more from Steve Novak and Chris Copeland if they are going to justify their minutes. Novak, in particular, really struggled to find his groove. In almost 10 minutes in Game 2, he was 1-for-2 from the field (a late bucket once the game was already decided), and his minutes coincided with the Celtics' best stretches of the game; While he was on the court, Boston outplayed the Knicks by 14 points.
Contrast that with the performance of Iman Shumpert, who sparked the crucial third quarter rally with two three-pointers and incredible energy right out of the chute, and we see the potential for minutes to be redistributed if some things don't change. Shumpert boasted a team high +24 rating in just under 18 minutes and seems to be rounding into form as he continues to find his comfort zone on both ends of the floor.
Woodson said: "The third quarter was our best quarter from a defensive standpoint and scoring the ball. We finally have a good quarter offensively." He credited Raymond Felton with facilitating a faster pace during this stretch, but there's no doubt that he's looked at the film to see that energy and aggressiveness on defense and in the open court were catalysts for the second half run.
In Game 3 and beyond, don't be surprised to see him go with the players who he believes can thrive in such a style.
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